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Cigar Review: Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Toro

23 Aug 2017

This Diamond Crown extension was introduced some years back to celebrate the founder of J.C. Newman Cigar Co., which calls itself “America’s oldest family-owned premium cigar makers.”

Newman promotes Julius Caeser as a high-end premium, packaged in fancy boxes and originally available only at Diamond Crown lounges. In 2014, the robusto was named No. 14 on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 list.

But to me it seems the line has never really garnered the cachet of some other top-tier smokes rolled by Fuente, such as Opus X or God of Fire. My belief was reinforced recently when I was able to buy 10 of the toros online for around $50, roughly a third of the normal retail price listing.

The tobacco composition of Julius Caeser is a bit muddled. Newman’s website refers to an Ecuadorian Havana-seed wrapper over a rather vague “robust blend of Central American tobaccos.” That CA rating has it as an all Dominican stick, while others generally list Dominican binder and filler.

The Toro (6 x 52) has a lovely pre-light chocolate aroma from the wrapper. The cap is excellently applied and easy to clip. Performance, as you’d expect, was excellent in all of those I’ve smoked. Straight burn, fine draw, and good smoke production.

I found it to be a little stronger than my colleague when he reviewed the Julius Caeser Pyramid in 2011. I’d call it near the low end of medium. We did agree on the lack of complexity, with little in the way of changes from start to finish, especially after the first inch or so.

But what Julius Caeser produced was pleasant. I got light spice, a touch of cedar, and some deep, woody notes.

If you’re looking for a cigar you can enjoy any time of the day, this could be one to try. At the regular retail price, though, most experienced cigar smokers can probably find other sticks that stand out more. But when it’s marked down, Julius Caeser is well worth picking up. I rate the Toro three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Diamond Crown/Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Galera Chaveta Maduro

12 Aug 2017

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

I don’t smoke a lot of maduros, but once in a while those coffee and cocoa flavors tempt me. I liked the Habano La Galera, so I thought I’d try the Maduro. I was cautious from the start in light of the Mexican San Andrés wrapper; I usually dislike this tobacco’s dirt-like taste, but there have been exceptions, and I hoped this would be another one. It wasn’t. The low-priced robusto (5 x 50, under $6) also had an unpleasant sharpness from the start and never developed into anything else. Construction and performance were fine. If you’re a big San Andrés fan, you might want to pick one up. Otherwise, I recommend leaving it on the shelf.

Verdict = Sell.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary Natural Toro

5 Aug 2017

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Released in 2015 to celebrate Rocky Patel’s 20 years in the cigar industry, this blend is said to have taken four years to develop. Its wrapper and binder comes from Honduras, and the filler is a mix of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The result is a complex, tasty, medium-strength smoke. The severely pressed Twentieth Anniversary Natural Toro (6 x 52, $12) performs excellently, including the generation of lots of smoke. It’s well worth a try.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: A.J. Fernandez New World Navegante

30 Jul 2017

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

New World, a lightly pressed Nicaraguan puro, was introduced several years ago by A.J. Fernandez as a budget line to complement his more expensive blends that had gained numerous fans. The New World Navegante (5.5 x 55) is a fairly rough-looking cigar and that appearance carried over to the initial smoking experience. Although it did smooth out a little about halfway down, it remained a bit harsh throughout. Smoke production was also fairly limited. Even at only about $6, I think you can navigate your way to a better cigar.

Verdict = Sell.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso

16 Jul 2017

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

Drew Estate’s Liga lines have achieved iconic status among cigar enthusiasts. A complex, multi-country blend, a lengthy aging process, and excellent craftsmanship are hallmarks of the cigars. The No. 9 Belicoso (6 x 52) displays those qualities in spades. From start to finish, it’s rich, deep, and extraordinarily smooth. This is a cigar to savor and enjoy. In fact, the only likely complaint is that they can be tough to find. So when you do spot one, don’t pass it up.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Quick Smoke: La Galera 1936 Box Pressed Chaveta

8 Jul 2017

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

This line extension from Jochy Blanco’s La Galera is made at Tabacalera Palma and celebrates his family history in the cigar industry. It sports a Habano Ecuador wrapper with a Dominican Criollo ’98 binder and Dominican Piloto Cubano and Criollo ’98 filler. It begins a bit harsh with a spicy finish. But the good news is it smoothes out after a quarter of an inch or so. Construction and performance are excellent. This isn’t a complex smoke, but if you’re looking for an everyday, low-priced cigar—I’ve seen this robusto (5 x 50) online for under $5—this is one to check out.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: La Galera

Quick Smoke: Crowned Heads Le Careme Robusto

24 Jun 2017

Each Saturday and Sunday we’ll post a Quick Smoke: not quite a full review, just our brief verdict on a single cigar of “buy,” “hold,” or “sell.”

The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper on this Crowned Heads offering is so rough and gritty you might think the rollers finished their work with sandpaper. Introduced last year, Le Careme features an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and filler from Nicaragua. (The name, in case you’re wondering, comes from a French chef who pioneered haute cuisine.) It’s a tasty cigar with some sweetness, a bit of spice, and leather. In my hand, the five-inch stick feels smaller than the stated 50-ring gauge, and it tends to burn fast, straight, and with excellent smoke production.

Verdict = Buy.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys